Best Paint for a Kitchen Ceiling

Updated Apr 15, 2024 | Posted Aug 23, 2023 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 0 comments

Choosing any paint for a kitchen can give you something to think about, simply because the environment in a kitchen is quite challenging. I wrote a separate blog on the best kitchen paint, which you can read here. However, I thought it might be useful to dedicate another blog to specifically cover the best paint for a kitchen ceiling. I’ll take you through the things you should consider, then give you my product recommendations.

As it’s a kitchen ceiling we’re talking about painting, whatever paint you use needs to be able to stand up to steam and possible airborne contaminants. There is no point in using cheap contract matt, or normal vinyl matt, because they remain porous and will soak up grease from the air and discolour over time.

That said, matt paint will always look better than acrylic eggshell or silk, especially on a ceiling. And a lot of the durable matt emulsion paints can show defects when used on a ceiling, especially in big kitchens, or kitchens with a lot of natural light. I do think that durable matt is the way to go, but you need to be selective in your products.

There’s no one perfect paint by the way. The products I’m about to talk about are genuinely the best paint options in my opinion as a Professional Decorator, but they all have plus and minus points.

Zinsser Perma White

Zinsser Perma White is one of the most durable matt emulsions on the market. Available in white or any colour. Opacity in white isn’t very good, so always block a previous colour out with normal white emulsion before you start.

However, the finish is lovely and it’s an easy paint to work with. It’s so durable that some people even use it on interior woodwork. Moreover, this paint contains biocides which prevent mould growth. This is great if you’ve had issues with mould in the past and the paint itself is long-lasting.

Zinsser AllClean

Another Zinsser product. AllClean is not a widely known paint, but it is the only product I know of that comes in an ‘in-your-face’ Brilliant White, is durable, and doesn’t show imperfections on large ceilings. You’re normally plagued with picture framing and flashing when you use a finish like this on a ceiling, but not with Zinsser AllClean.

I used to love a bright white emulsion paint on a ceiling, and it still has its place. A crisp, sharp, Brilliant White looks clean and pristine. It works best when there are no blemishes in the plaster, and you can strike a sharp line between ceiling and wall.

durable matt emulsion for a kitchen ceiling

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex

From one extreme to the other. Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is an ultra-low matt emulsion that can look quite dull. For me, this is the perfect finish for most ceilings as it hides imperfections, shows no defects, and looks quite contemporary.

It isn’t as durable as any of the other products on this list, but it is waterproof. This is fine for most kitchen ceilings, but you wouldn’t want to use it on the walls in a kitchen because you can’t wipe it.

This paint is particularly good in a large open-plan kitchen, where the ceiling is particularly visible. It has a luxurious look with great depth. It was even voted “The Best Ceiling Paint” amongst professional tradesmen in The Decorators Forum UK.

Apply generous coats when using Anti-Reflex on a kitchen ceiling because it leads to a better finish. You can buy this paint in white or pale colours.

Clean Extreme Eggshell

I know I said durable matt emulsion is the best paint for a kitchen ceiling, and I stand by that in most cases. Eggshell has a higher sheen level than matt, so the finish isn’t as desirable. However, eggshell is far more durable, so if your kitchen suffers from excessive levels of condensation, then acrylic eggshell is probably the way to go. It is used a lot in commercial kitchens.

Some acrylic eggshell paints show defects like flashing, particularly on a ceiling, but you’re pretty safe with Crown Clean Extreme Acrylic Eggshell, which is probably the best. You can buy this paint in white or any colour, and you can even get it in antibacterial or anti-mould. Opacity and ease of use are brilliant, as is durability. The finish is great too. I really do like this paint.

an eggshell emulsion for a ceiling



What is the best paint finish for kitchen ceiling?

Matt paint looks best on any ceiling. It shows less defects like flashing and picture framing and the finish is much more desirable. However, you need to ensure you’re using a waterproof paint when working in a kitchen.


Can you use normal ceiling paint in kitchen?

The issue with using retail matt, contract matt, or vinyl matt emulsion on a kitchen ceiling is that it remains porous. This means it is absorbent and won’t stand up to steam and other contaminants. You should therefore use durable emulsion on a kitchen ceiling.


Should kitchen ceiling be white?

Most people paint every ceiling in their home white, but being brave can be very rewarding. If you are going to experiment with colours, ensure you’re following a worked-out colour scheme to avoid colours clashing.


Is Dulux kitchen paint worth it?

Dulux Kitchen Paint is a retail product. Although it is designed for this type of job, it isn’t the best paint for a kitchen ceiling. You should opt for a good-quality trade product instead.


Do I have to wash my kitchen ceiling before painting?

The only time you’d wash a kitchen ceiling before painting is if it’s covered in grease or other contaminates.


Final Thoughts


It doesn’t matter how good your kitchen design is, if your paint isn’t right, then you won’t achieve a desirable space.

I think I’ve covered all bases. You’ve got a matt emulsion that will cope with pretty much everything in Zinsser Perma White. A great “Brilliant White” paint in Zinsser AllClean. A modern, low sheen emulsion in Tikkurila anti Reflex. And a good eggshell emulsion in Crown Clean Extreme for the most challenging of kitchen environments. Just choose the one that best suits your kitchen.

Best Paint for a Kitchen Ceiling – by Mike Gregory

Examples of work carried out by Other Decorators

Johno White

We used Tikkurila Anti Reflex on the ceiling in this kitchen because it is open plan with a lot of natural light. Anti-Reflex is good on any ceiling, but it comes into its own when you can look across at a ceiling like this. It doesn’t matter as much in smaller rooms. Plus, the customer wanted a modern matt finish to suit the style of the kitchen units.

Ben Meadows

We used Johnstone’s perfect Matt on this kitchen ceiling, which is a premium trade paint with a low sheen. It’s fantastic on a large ceiling like this because it shows no blemishes. If we’d have used a normal durable matt, then we might have struggled with flashing.

A lot of people have open plan kitchens now, and the ceilings are actually quite a big feature. People notice the ceiling before the walls in a room this shape, so it needs to be coated in the best paint available.

Dean McGinley

We used Crown Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt on this kitchen ceiling. It’s durable, easy to use, and gives a lovely finish. By using a durable paint, we ensure that the finish will last. It will not discolour over time, or peel and fail above the stove like normal emulsion does.

We actually used Crown Clean Extreme to paint the walls too. The colour is Green Stone Light. The door frame and skirting boards were painted in Johnstone’s Aqua Guard, which is a water-based satinwood.

best emulsion to use on a kitchen ceiling

Updated Apr 15, 2024 | Posted Aug 23, 2023 | 0 comments


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